The debate over who is the greatest Cardiff player of all time has run and run but if we didn’t know it before, it’s certain now that it’s Peter Whittingham. His untimely passing is a tragic reminder of just what he did for Cardiff City and for what he gave us.
Peter Whittingham gave us 10 years of his life, of his football career, of himself. He joined the club as a young man and left as a veteran. 96 goals, a multitude of scything tackles, and a million shrugs of his shoulders. He scored goals of the utmost quality with a nonchalance that underlined that he did things differently.
He played for us at Ninian Park, Wembley, the CCS, the Liberty, and a helluva lot more. He scored goals wherever he went. He made goals wherever he went. He led this team without a shout or a scream. But just with the right way of playing.
Peter Whittingham deserved every plaudit that came his way. He deserved big money moves. He deserved another chance to play for Cardiff in the Premier League, in blue. He deserved more than he got. But he never complained. He never moaned. He went about his business as he always did. A slightly bemused look on his face. A wand of a left foot. A shrug of the shoulders.
We should remember him. Remember the man who scored an incredible curling shot as we dispatched Middlesbrough on the way to Wembley. We should remember every single goal from that sparkling season as we lost to Blackpool at Wembley. We should remember him as the man who assisted Chopra and Ledley in that final. The man who put away knife-edge penalties and free-kicks against Leicester.
A man who, without effort, put in the goal of the decade against Barnsley, a looping volley from 35 yards. A man who carried on scoring under Malky, notching hat-tricks against Wolves at home and scoring brave headers against West Brom in the Premier League.
He was a footballer for Cardiff and he made Cardiff his home. He remained here when his career finished. He was one of us. He was a quiet man, a man who gave us his everything. And we will be forever grateful.
He was taken away from his family too soon. Our thoughts are with them. A family without a husband, father, son, brother, nephew, cousin. People without a friend.
So here’s to you Peter Whittingham. Cardiff loves you more than you will know.